Sunday, December 29, 2013

Hey DirecTV, DON'T Toy With My Weather Emotions!

I have to make this confession.
I am Mark and I am a weather geek.
Most of those that know me personally, they are not shocked. But readers, maybe you are.
So last week in the Los Angeles Fishwrap, I read this interesting article about DirecTV and negotiating with The Weather Channel over rates, what else, and the future of the network being on DirecTV.
Just before Christmas, a channel that I never heard of popped up on the channel right before The Weather Channel.
WeatherNation came on with absolutely not one bit of fanfare.
In the DirectTV channelshpere, Fox News Channel is 360, channel 361 had some infomercial channel and then 362 is The Weather Channel.
The infomercial channel stopped about two weeks before Christmas. Just disappeared. Then over the weekend before Christmas, channel 361 came back as WeatherNation. So of course being the weather geek that I proudly am, I started watching it. And lo and behold there was something on that matched the name of the channel.
One of my complaints about The Weather Channel is twofold.
One, they freely advocate the concept of Globaloney Warming, now Climate Change, as fact. Sorry, it is not.
But secondly and very important is that they have moved away from weather and now have shows. Most fall into the "reality" category. And while most do deal with weather related topics, I'm sorry but I don't get what Prospectors has to do with weather.
The fact is that while I am a native of So Cal and our general idea of weather is if it will be 80 degrees on Christmas Day, which it was, there are times when we do really get some bad rainstorms. And in our local mountains, some near blizzard snow storms.
I have had this weather fascination since I was a kid. Had a weather station. A rain gauge, all that good stuff. Even now I have a handy-dandy outdoor thermometer and a rain gauge.
Now back to this current dilemma.
Well, from the article in the Fishwrap, WeatherNation was used by Dish TV in 2010 in a similar rate dispute. But then it was known as Weather Cast and lasted a whole four days as it was nothing but a ploy. Weather Cast went off the air and the Weather Channel came back. While rates were a huge issue, back then The Weather Channel was beginning to show movies that irritated many viewers (count me in that category!). One of the things to go was the movies. But more insipid shows came on the air.
So the question is this.
Is DirecTV going to get The Weather Channel to go along with what it wants? If so, does WeatherNation go bye-bye?
Probably not and here is why.
Firstly, DirecTV is not taking The Weather Channel off the air and replacing it with WeatherNation. It has added it to the lineup. Secondly, WeatherNation replaced an infomercial channel. Very, very few people watch most of them. Third, what is wrong with having multiple weather channels? There are multiple sports networks. ESPN and Fox Sports come to mind. Three news networks. That would be CNN, Fox News Channel and MSNBC. Not one but two food channels. The Cooking Channel and the Food Network. Lastly, since there are currently the two channels on the DirectTV airwaves, let the marketplace decide if it comes down to having to drop one of them.
At this point, the edge goes to WeatherNation. It is solely in the weather reporting business. There are no shows. No filler. Just the facts.
The real test will come if there is a huge weather related event.
No doubt because The Weather Channel is the more established of the two, people will watch them more than WeatherNation. But what if it becomes something like the next Fox News Channel? Coming out from nowhere and then overtaking the more established Weather Channel?
It can happen.
But my message to DirecTV is this.
Don't mess with us, the subscribers and viewers. Don't have this great new channel on the air, WeatherNation, just to goad The Weather Channel to meet your demands and then dump it like a hot piece of lead. We only pay 13c a month to have The Weather Channel. I'd be willing to pay another 13c a month to have a competitor, WeatherNation, as well.
The super information highway is sometimes riddled with stories like this. But here is one DirecTV subscriber that is just asking one thing.
Don't toy with my weather emotions!

No comments: